You have stayed incredibly consistent to this point. You have been dedicated to becoming a more well-balanced dad. You have pushed yourself, made changes, and have been unique to this point. We are on step 11. I wanted to look up what consistency meant and was recently shown the 1828 Webster's Dictionary. I went and looked up the definition of consistency and found the following "standing together, as the parts of a system, or of conduct, etc.; agreement or harmony of all parts of a complex thing among themselves, or of the same thing with itself at different times; congruity; uniformity; as the CONSISTENCY of laws, regulations or judicial decisions; CONSISTENCY of opinion; CONSISTENCY of behavior or character.
There is harmony and CONSISTENCY in all God's works." (Websters, 1828)
I love the reference to God's works here, as it's the perfect example of consistency. The flowers bloom at the same time, crops come and go, and at the same time, year over year, the way the earth moves and functions is consistent day in and day out. Several areas of our lives require the agreement of harmony; these areas also require the same behavior and character. The areas that require consistency are with yourself, your partner, your kids, your health, and everything you do.
We have taken much time to talk about you, the reader. As a father/mother/caregiver, how can you fill your cup up, pour it into yourself and others, and how can you better yourself as an individual to get to be the person you're proud to see staring back at you in the mirror! You must gain skills, methods, and ideas and learn to use new tools. It's now when I pass the torch over to you. You now have a blueprint, how to make a plan, and the questions to ask, and you're on the starting blocks; now it's time to go. When you fail, you get back up. It's all about showing up for yourself every day, never giving up, and fighting the good fight with yourself to get to where you want to be. Show up for you daily, and be consistent; that's where we start and keep going.
Your health is the main point of the WBDD. Whatever you are starting regarding your mental health, keep with it, and keep going. It's going to be so hard and, at times, bring you to your knees, you're going to feel low at times, but you're going to get to new levels of self with your mind being so much more robust and healthier. Mental and emotional health goes hand in hand as your health is your mind, you also heal your heart in the process, and you can bring your emotions in line with your mind and regulate better. Keep with it; you're going to fail in these regards, it won't be perfect, but you got this; it's going to be worth it. Stay with it.
Your physical health is going to be something you can't give up on. You deserve to be healthy; you deserve to be the healthiest. You that is addiction free and have a body that can move and do all the things you want to do. You deserve to have a healthy body to run with your kids, go hiking, go camping, and be pain-free daily. You deserve to know that, God willing, you dance at your kid's wedding, run with your grandchildren and play with them as you play with your kids. You deserve that. It starts now.
Your partner should never feel like you don't care, you're not engaged, you're not there for them, or you're not committed to the 100%. They shouldn't ever feel that you're not committed to them and like they have to watch what they say or do around you. Granted, your partner respects you and won't intentionally push your buttons, but that's different. It is simple to stay consistent with your partner; you have a hobby together and make the time to do that hobby. It is pretty simple to show consistent love and care towards your partner; it starts with good morning texts, date nights, going dancing, speaking their love language and looking at them and being vulnerable and showing appreciation for them, and telling them sincerely how much you love them. Find what will benefit your relationship most, do those things daily and weekly, and watch how impactful it is.
Kids should know the parent they will wake up to and interact with daily. Children, much like adults, thrive with consistency. Kids, especially, should find consistency in their conversations with you; they should be open, accepting, safe and non-judgemental. As a parent, you should guide them to help them learn right from wrong and the pros and cons of every situation. We should hear our kids out; we shouldn't snap to judgment, condemnation, reprimand, or put them down for something that most people might not widely accept. Kids need to know you are there for them, consistent, reliable, predictable, and ready to be supportive and caring towards them at any moment. You never know when that phone will ring or those little feet will run up to you and need you for something crucial. Stay ready, and be consistent with them.
Lastly, it echos the above never make your partner, and kids question what version of you they are getting. In addition, no one should ever wonder if they are or aren't getting the most authentic version of themselves that should be showing up every day. Realize that it isn't their fault, it's yours, and you must own that. Be consistent in your work, your employer, even yourself, should know who is walking through those doors daily and what kind of employee they have. Your family, the same thing, granted people change, but only change for the better and to be more positive and more of a light to those around you. Be the person people can only talk about in a good, positive, loving, admiring way. Leave no room for the opposite through your consistency and discipline.
Show up the same every day for yourself, your partner, your kids, your family, and your work, and be so authentic that people can't help but talk positively. Keep your head up; you got this! It will take time to build that consistency; I know you can do it. Believe in you because I do.
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